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What FightLinker Said

The mighty FightLinker spouted off last night on the Huerta/Crane matchup:

I love how Roger Huerta continues to get fed UFC virgins, while Clay Guida keeps going up against the baddest motherfuckers in the lightweight division. I really don't know what to read from that: does that say the UFC really respects Clay Guida's skills, or they're just trying to bury him? Are they so unsure of Huerta that they're not willing to pit him against someone established?


But there's no excuse for some of the garbage bookings they're doing in the lightweight division. Roger Huerta vs Alberto Crane is up there with the recent Din Thomas vs Jeremy Stephens match as one of the most pointless bookings ever.

Now I know that yesterday I was applauding the UFC for feeding Huerta a can. But that was with my marketing hat on, as a fan I'm totally sympathetic to FL's position, especially when he mentions Guida's plight -- Guida's faced a murderer's row of Din Thomas (Loss Unanimous Decision), Tyson Griffin (Loss Split Decision -- aka Clay waz robbed, you can see that match here.) and now Marcus Aurelio (TBD). Clearly they don't see Guida as a precious property that must be protected, but instead as a gutsy scrapper they can count on to deliver good action NOW. I think that's pretty logical, if merciless, on their part.

Now FightLinker's other point, bagging on the Din Thomas/Jeremy Stephens match, I must beg to differ with. Thomas is a unique challenge from a marketing perspective since he is not only an old-time contender for the UFC lightweight belt but he's also a TUF veteran, meaning they've poured millions into marketing him on SPIKE TV. He's also one of the few from TUF season 4 that has not been a flop since coming back to the UFC -- see Riveria, Carter, Clementi, Sell, Smith, Cote, etc. So giving him on PPV fight against a credible UFC neophyte in Stephens was fair enough -- and if Stephens had won we'd have a new up and comer. Thomas' win did a fine job of setting him up to fight Spencer Fisher at the next Fight Night. Fisher is looking to become a UFN franchise after multiple exciting matchups with Stout and Franca. The winner of the Thomas/Fisher match will then be in great shape to fight a top contender and maybe get a title shot next year.

Had to mention that UFCMania has updated their rankings with help from our own Luke Thomas. My only complaint is I wish they would do a top ten instead of a top five:

Champion Sean Sherk
  1.     BJ Penn
  2.     Joe Stevenson
  3.     Kenny Florian
  4.     Hermes Franca
  5.     Roger Huerta

The other matchup I wanted to touch on is the Nate Diaz/Junior Assuncao match that is being rumored for UFN 11. Assuncao lost to Kurt Pellegrino but came back and picked up a win against David Lee at UFC 70. This should be a good match-up for Diaz, whom the UFC will want to bring along slowly like they have Kendall Grove, Michael Bisping and Forrest Griffen. Assuncao will be tough competition but he's not the kind of monster wrestler who could smother Diaz.